The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Defending a Way of Life
Defending a Way of Life

Defending a Way of Life 1980


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Defending a Way of Life 1980

30 mins United Kingdom Director. Simon Heaven

Balancing a Bangladeshi cultural identity with their life in England is the focus for the young people in this episode of Home from Home, a series examining the lives of the Bangladeshi community in London. Melas, music, poetry and dance are brought to the fore as the residents of Brick Lane share their rich cultural heritage with the wider community in East London.

This insightful documentary covers a lot of ground in exploring the history of Bangladeshi migration to the East End, the establishment of the community there, the barriers faced by first generation Bengalis and the changes the second generation youth aimed to bring about. With racism at a peak in the late 70s, the Bangladeshi Youth Movement was established to bring the community together, provide education in Bengali language and culture that wasn’t available in state schools and foster a broader cultural understanding between the diverse communities living in the East End.

Directed by

Simon Heaven




Bangladeshi community


South Asian Britain on Film




United Kingdom



Read lessRead more


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later